UN Says Liberia Sent Refugees Home Illegally

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The U.N. refugee agency says Liberian security forces sent 14 registered refugees from neighboring Ivory Coast back to their home country in violation of international law forbidding forced repatriation.

Khassim Diagne, the agency’s representative in Liberia, said Tuesday the men were among a group of 23 suspects arrested in southeastern Liberia. They were shipped across the Cavally River into Ivory Coast Sunday night, though the agency was not informed.

An untold number of Ivorian fighters fled into Liberia along with tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence that followed disputed elections in November 2010. Cross-border raids launched in Ivory Coast from the unpoliced border region continued into last year.

Liberia government spokesman Lewis Brown said he was not aware of the incident. Ivory Coast’s interior ministry could not be reached.

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